Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Devotional 210410

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. God chose not to speak to Prophet Elijah in storm like we have this morning, or in earthquake like we had experienced worldwide in the last couple of months. God chose to speak in gentle whisper/silence. And it is in silence that Elijah came out from his cave to meet God (1 King 19:12). Are you willing to leave your cave and meet God in silence? In a fearful environment that we live today, hiding in the comfort of our cave/home does not give you true security of life. Leave your cave and listen to His gentle whisper in your heart. This is how Elijah found strength to enter his fearful world again with a strong sense of mission.

Jesus said, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (John 10:10b).It is enormously difficult to portray goodness in an attractive way; it is much easier to make a scoundrel interesting. All of us have so much more experience in sin than in goodness that a writer has far more imaginative material to work with in presenting a bad character than a good person. In novels and poems and plays most t of the memorable figures are either villains or victims. Good people, virtuous lives, mostly seem a bit dull. Jeremiah is a stunning exception. For most of my adult life he has attracted me. The complexity and misty of his personhood caught and kept my attention. The captivating quality in the man is his goodness, his virtue, his excellence. He lived at his best. His was not a hot-house piety, for he lived through crushing storms of hostility and furies of bitter doubt. There is not a trace of smugness or complacency or gullibility in Jeremiah—every muscle in his body was stretched to the limits by fatigue, every thought in his mind subjected to rejection, every feeling in his heart put through fires of ridicule. Goodness in Jeremiah was not “being nice.” It was something more like competency.

We live in a society that tries to diminish us to the level of the ant heap so that we rush mindlessly, getting and consuming. It is essential to take counteraction. Jeremiah is counteraction: a well developed human being, mature and robust, living by faith. His life can be described by what our Lord said, “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?” (Matt 5:13a).

In Jeremiah it is clear that the excellence comes from a life of faith, from being more interested in God than in self, and has almost nothing to do with comfort or esteem or achievement. Here is a person who has lived life to the cutting edge, but there is not a hint of human pride or worldly success or personal achievement in the story. Jeremiah arouses my passion for a full life – a life that is contagious and influential. This is the kind of life that our Lord wants all of His disciples to live, “Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16).

Many of his contemporaries described Jesus as like Jeremiah or one of the prophets (Matt 16:14). It is the same kind of life like Jeremiah that God wants all of His children to live on earth, so that we can truly become light and salt of the world. We don’t have to form ourselves into political pressure groups or use political manipulations. We need more genuine and ordinary Christians who seek to be Christ like in their workplace and neighborhood – live a life of goodness without just being nice, a life of piety without judgmental, and a life of love without overbearing. We can’t live out this kind of life by our own strength; it has to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need to constantly draw close to God through meditation and prayer, so that the power of God can freely flow through us according to His timing and method. We just need to make ourselves available to Him. Amen.

Love you because He is Love,

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